Placed in Goudhurst, Kent, within easy reach of television studios in London and Maidstone, television and film lighting hire company Limelite has been an advocate of MDG fog and haze generators since it was founded in 2007. Directors Ed Railton and Matthew Mountier, both with longstanding freelance careers in theatre touring and television lighting respectively, purchased 10 MDG Atmosphere haze generators at the outset and are still using the same machines 13 years later.
“We both had extensive experience of MDG through our freelance careers and knew them to be the best,” says Railton. “We liked the level of control, the fineness of the haze and the smooth, even dispersion the Atmosphere gives – it’s so fine you can’t see the haze until light is passed through it.”
Limelite Lighting’s initial engagements were with theatres and small television studios, but the bulk of its work today is in television, with the majority in outside broadcast, and many subhires to larger TV and film rental companies.
“Over the years we have seen a change from DOPs’ traditional requests for cracked oil hazers to the cleaner option of MDG Atmosphere haze generators which have become the lighting directors’ hazer of choice,” says Railton. “The Atmospheres leave very little residue on lenses, gobos and accessories.” This has proved an important factor for cameramen, and for maintenance technicians who spend less time cleaning moving lights and cameras post-show.
“MDG has all the flexibility, control and reliability we need as a rental house,” continues Railton. “Every job is different: studios work within limits and are 100% controllable, but outside broadcast is more complex, wholly reliant on the weather, and changes by the minute. A DOP can call on you at any point with just a ten minute window in the weather. But we can take advantage of the Atmosphere’s 100% duty cycle and use the DMX controller to respond instantly to whatever is needed.”
All Limelite’s Atmospheres generators are housed in bespoke flight cases with spare gas and fluid bottles as complete, transportable units for quick deployment wherever required. The company offers a choice of DMX and manual control generators to suit client needs. Recent productions employing MDG Atmosphere include MTV’s Just Tattoo of Us and Simon Amstell’s latest DVD Benjamin.
“From a hire company’s perspective, our MDG Atmospheres have proved a good long-term investment,” concludes Railton. “The generators are never out of action so we need something reliable and strong, and easy and quick to maintain. Ours have been solid as a rock, the parts are readily available and they are very economical on fluid. Clients know what they are getting and like what they get.”
Limelite Lighting continued to film during lockdown No 1 with The Ranganation and Mo Gillingan’s All Star Happy Hour, while lockdown No 2 saw them busy with a new series of SAS Who Dares Wins, The Great British Sewing Bee and preparations for some of the pantomimes that are still lined up over Christmas.